Monday, August 21, 2006

Weekly Review Aug. 13th to Aug. 19th

This week has seen a variety of topics discussed, some as clarifications of older ideas, others as challenges to design and theory alike.

Social Hacking

Thomas Robertson discusses one of the ramifications of his interface perspective of RPGs. In particular he mentions how games are easily hackable, as forms of social interaction. He suggests this can make them very useful tools especially in how they are adjusted by a particular group.

Playing the GM

Troy Costisick gives his definition of GM. Particularly he describes the different aspects of the GM role across many RPGs. He suggests that GMs are first of all players in the game. Secondly he describes different ways in which the GM acts as the one responsible for many aspects of the game, including devising situations and playing a cast of characters. Lastly, he discusses the pace-setting aspect of the GM role, especially in the context of scene framing.

Channeling Immersion

Brian Hollenbeck, as a continuation of his new definition for immersion, offers some ways to immerse via aligning spaces (such as emulation space, game space, and the internal play space of a given player) during play. In particular he discusses the resource channels that link these spaces and how making a game immersive in this sense means making the channels between two spaces as transparent as possible.

Entranced by the System

Over on Story Games, Luke Crane has started a discussion about the use of game systems to produce a trance like state. This would bypass the usual conscious aversion to ideas and concepts and allow players to encounter them in perhaps a more natural way.

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